Chapter

Can Metaphysics Be Naturalized? And If So, How?

Andrew Melnyk

in Scientific Metaphysics

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199696499
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744983 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696499.003.0004
Can Metaphysics Be Naturalized? And If So, How?

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An exercise in metaphilosophy, this chapter addresses one aspect of the relationship between science and philosophy. Non-naturalized, analytic metaphysics has not yielded results at all comparable with those achieved by mathematics and logic. Metaphysics needs to be naturalized, but how can scientific findings be made relevant to metaphysics—as evidence, as sources of new problems, or in other ways? Must some traditional metaphysical problems be abandoned as intractable? What sort of problems might take their place? Answers to these questions arise from detailed criticism of the answers given in Ladyman, Ross, et al., Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Naturalized metaphysics requires outstanding questions that we want answered but that don’t fall within the province of the sciences; there look to be such questions, including that of how to unify science; but whether we can answer them is best determined by trying to do so.

Keywords: Metaphysics; analytic metaphysics; naturalized metaphysics; metaphilosophy; science and philosophy

Chapter.  6645 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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